Emmy Katabazi, 56, is the new Deputy Director General of Internal Security Organisation (DDGISO), Chimp Corps report.
“I am humbled to be appointed by H.E The President as DDGISO,” said Katabazi in a social media post on Tuesday, adding, “Glory be to almighty.”
President Museveni this past Thursday fired Brig Bagyenda Kaka over alleged incompetence and failure to transform the spying outfit into a modern institution.
Kaka was replaced with Brig Charles Oluka, the former Director of Technical Services at ISO.
This website understands that President Museveni last week wrote to Security Minister Gen Elly Tumwiine about the new appointments.
Tumwiine, just like the previous Security Minister, Gen Henry Tumukunde, was so close to Kaka.
Tumwiine regularly defended Kaka despite incessant calls from lawyers, civil society, MPs and general public for the ISO boss’ dismissal over alleged gross human rights abuses.
The firing of Kaka, an NRA war combatant and spy, is said to have hurt Gen Tumwiine.
It’s understood Kaka’s close associates tried to convince the President to rescind Katabazi’s appointment in vain.
Katabazi was “close” to former premier Amama Mbabazi, who in 2015 fell out with President Museveni, a ground advanced to block his appointment.
Defence spokesperson, Brig Flavia Byekwaso last week said “the new Director General Internal Security Organisation (ISO) is Lt Col Charles Oluka and his Deputy is Mr Taban Amin. Lt Katabaazi was only promoted to Major.”
However, according to President Museveni’s letter, Katabazi will deputise Oluka as DDGISO 1 while Taban will serve as the second deputy (DDGISO 2).
The handover ceremony is planned for tomorrow Wednesday at ISO headquarters in Kampala.
Who is Katabazi?
Until recently, Katabazi was the Head of Media at ISO before he was kicked out by Kaka and transferred to Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Katabazi, a controversial figure, previously served as Resident District Commissioner (RDC) and District Internal Security Officer, Yumbe District, Northern Uganda.
He also ran the special operations of Operation Wembley in Kampala Central.
Katabazi also served as DISO, Kampala and later as a security officer at the Ministry of Security under Ministers Mbabazi, Muruli Mukasa and Betty Aketch.
In November 2015, Katabazi was arrested and charged at Makindye General Court Martial with absence without leave and conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline, contrary to section 148(1), 2(a), 178 (1) (2) and 5 (a) of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) Act.
Prosecution alleged that the soldier, without authorised leave, absented himself from duty between May 21-22 last year while he was deployed at the internal security organisation (ISO) offices in Nakasero and went to different places, including Mbale, Jinja, Lira, Gulu, Soroti and Yumbe districts.
Prosecution further alleged that while at the above-mentioned places, Katabazi allegedly made public and political statements contrary to Rule 1 and 2 of the code of conduct of the defence forces.
At the time, Katabazi, a serving army officer, was reportedly mobilizing for Mbabazi during the presidential election – accusations he denied.
Mbabazi tweeted then: “Emmy Katabazi was the last bastion of the struggle for freedom and justice. He had devoted his life to this struggle. He has paid the price.”
Emmy Katabazi was the last bastion of the struggle for freedom and justice. He had devoted his life to this struggle. He has paid the price.
— Amama Mbabazi (@AmamaMbabazi) June 27, 2016
Katabazi was released in June 2016 after the state said it had lost interest in the case.
The appointment of Katabazi came after President Museveni reconciled with Mbabazi.
Both the president and his former premier worked together in several struggles that led to removal of Idi Amin, Milton Obote and the Okello junta from power.
Their relations went sour around 2015 when Mbabazi moved to challenge Museveni in the 2016 presidential polls.
However, the two comrades have since moved to revive their friendship.
Mbabazi regularly attends high profile state functions presided over by the president at State House Entebbe and Kololo ceremonial grounds.